One day I was visiting mother at home. It was my turn to watch over mother. I asked her a few times if she wanted to go to the toilet. She said no. Then after a while she said yes. I brought her there. And then let's just say that she was not in time.
It occurred to me briefly, mother was probably embarrassed that she no longer had such basic controls. And she was reluctant to go to the toilet because she doesn't want to feel helpless. Or be embarrassed in front of her children.
Same for showering. She shooed me out after I helped her some.
Mother was a proud woman. She was fully independent just 2 months before she was in this state. She almost had no one to talk about such things with her. How do you accept yourself falling into such a helpless state in such a quick time?
Was this why she was different when she was sick the second time around? She seems to be more calm, but was I mistaken? That she was actually resigned? That she didn't want to be like this?
The day before she was admitted to CCU I visited her. The nurse was helping the patient in the next bed with her bowel movements and it stunk badly. I mentioned it to my mother but she smelt nothing. Is the loss of smell an indication of the end nearing?
Christine mentioned that mother stared at the ceiling for a long time during one of the visits. But she did not ask further what she was staring at. Was there another sign?
My cousin mentioned that on the day of mother's passing, mother was talking to her mahjong friends and said that she does not have to go through kidney dialysis anymore, forever. My cousin heard and felt it was weird but did not ask further. Did mother know? Or she didn't but she has given up her fight? Because she doesn't want to live her last days in the helpless state that she was in?
Mother's life was not long. But I am truly grateful that she was considered healthy and fully independent right till 3 months before she passed away. Many old people were bedridden for many years before they passed on. I am unable to imagine the quality of life or what they would rather have. Anyhow there is no need to speculate. If you are bedridden, see it as a gift that you get to spend more years with your family. If you leave the world early, see it as a gift that you had less suffering.
I didn't know how mother felt in her last days. I can only say that she was a brave and strong woman. And I am glad that she left the world with no worries. I cannot ask for more. I am grateful.